Friday, August 14, 2009

The Extraordinarily High Negative IQ of Obama

Reader William has an interesting idea about "the Marxist frauds who people the academy. I’ve come up with the concept of negative IQ for people who know lots of stuff that is the opposite of truth. These folks no doubt all have very high negative IQs."

Oh my yes. I've posted on that subject in the past, except in different terms -- for example, the idea of (-K), or "negative knowing." Ultimately, you might simply say that Ø is the first principle from which all bad philosophy flows. For us, the first and last principle is always O, the alphOmega, the Ultimate unKnowable Reality.

However, to say "unknowable" can be mystleading, because we mean it in the apophatic sense, through which unknowing becomes the highest knowledge; or let us say a "self emptying" that prepares us to be "instructed by God," as it were. (I just discovered that there's actually an Orthodox word for this roundtrip God-to-God knowledge: theodidaktoi.)

Also, as we have been discussing, although O cannot be known directly, we can certainly know its energies, (↓) -- which, in a way, is true of anything, even a rock. After all, no one actually knows what a rock is. Rather, we can only know about it. But knowing about it is more than enough to get you through the day, just as knowing about God is more than enough to get you through life.

Now, any kind of materialist or Darwinist or radical secularist is necessarily living in a kind of fantasy land, since they begin -- and therefore end -- in Ø. Thus, in the ultimate sense, all of their (K) is automatically rendered (-K). You could file it all under the heading of Whitehead's fallacy of misplaced concreteness.

For example, I just encountered this problem in The Philosophical Baby, which is highly unracooomended because it frames all of its (K) in terms of Ø, which in the end strips the subject of its profundity, or vertical depth.

Really, it's a kind of attack on vertical linking, so that the author's interior deadness is transmitted to the reader, which has the function of tamping down wonder. Certain highly provocative roads are automatically foreclosed by the tenured, in that they could never have gained tenure had they ventured down those roads. This ideological Darwinism explains how the deeply philosophical baby grows up to become the philosophomoric Berkeley professor.

Do I need to cite examples? In my margin notes I use the symbol (-?!), which, as you might guess, is the opposite of (?!). I use it when I encounter something that is so provocatively stupid, that it reaches mystical (or mystagogic) depths. And it is a kind of "reverse gnosis," or (-n), as we will be discussing below.

Let's see... How about this sloppily projected jumble of half-digested metaphysical nonsense about human knowing: "methods of experimentation and statistical analysis seem to be programmed into our brains even when we are tiny babies. Very young children unconsciously use these techniques to change their causal maps of the world. Those programs allow babies, and so the rest of us, to find the truth" (emphasis mine).

Where to even begin? Frankly, I don't think I want to dwell on it. But if one of my students suggested that human beings are programmed by natural selection "to find the truth," I'd probably slap him upside the head with my zen stick. Good thing I don't have any students. Or a zen stick.

I mean, two pages later she breezily affirms that "a hundred years or more of scientific study of the brain has convinced almost all philosophers that everything we experience" is reducible to the brain. Well, first of all, so what? Truth isn't a democracy, much less an authoritarian democracy of the tenured.

But more fundamentally, isn't that what science does and scientists do? It's like saying that "one hundred years of baseball has convinced almost all umpires that pitched baseballs are either balls or strikes." It's just a silly tautology dolled up as a philosophy. Thus, "scientific psychology tells us that we can't explain inner consciosness by saying that there really is a mysterious self that we look at with our inner eye..." Oh really? Who just said that? That thing that's programmed for truth? I'm confused.

Also, as you might expect, the book is larded with the (-K) of political correctness, for example, this clinical inanity: "We can predict that legislature for enriched preschools will lead to fewer crimes, just as we can predict that legislating for controls on carbon dioxide emissions will lead to fewer hurricanes." Wha -?! I must have missed that one. Man can legislate fewer hurricanes. Who knew?

Must move on. Again, the subject is a profound one, but you're much better off reading the works of a deep thinker such as Allan Schore.

Anyway, back to William's point about the negative IQ of the left. This got me to thinking. It's not just their negative IQ that causes so many problems, but a kind of very real "negative mysticism."

In fact, I would suggest that the latter is far more problematic, as it is responsible for the truly mass movements of liberal fascism. I think it's axiomatic that Obama could not have been elected without this tsunami of negative mysticism, or -O. Note as well that the people leading the charge were the so-called intelligentsia, i.e., those founts of (-K) in academia and the media.

This immediately reminded me of Chesterton's comment that when a man stops believing in God he doesn't believe in nothing; rather, he believes anything. I was trying to google the exact quote, but in so doing, found this little gem that applies to our subject: "Democracy means government by the uneducated, while aristocracy [insert rule by liberal elites] means government by the badly educated." This is why for the Raccoon, it generally comes down to a choice between the stupid party and the evil party.

Another brief asnide. We have heard many stories about Obama's vaunted intelligence. First of all, I've never seen it, but then again, my standards are admittedly high. But in my opinion -- and I mean this quite literally, not as mere insultainment -- I believe that Obama is the most ignorant man who has ever been president, at least in my lifetime. What I mean is that, whatever his native intelligence, it has been maimed and distorted as a result of his postmodern education. In short, he is filled to the brim with (-K).

I was reading the other day of how JFK was the first president born in the 20th century. Similarly, Clinton was the first baby-boomer president. The really ominous thing about Obama is that he is our first president who is the product of the postmodern educational establishment, which didn't really gain control until around 1980 or so (Obama would have begun college in the fall of 1979, if I'm not mistaken).

Therefore, the problem isn't just that Obama is "wrong." If only! Rather, it's that he arrogantly knows so many things that just aren't so, and that he flourished in a wackademic environment in which this way of thinking was encouraged, nurtured, and praised. No wonder he's such a moron. Every day he unleashes some kind of crazy remark that you just know he must have picked up in college. But since he's only ever associated with those types of scoundrels, he has no idea how offensive he is to normal people.

Thus, for example, Obama was the first president to ever even think about groveling around the world on an "apology tour." But this is nothing that any liberal academic wouldn't do. Likewise, when Justice Sotomayor made her "wise Latina" crack, she was uttering something so commonplace for the left that it hardly merits comment. Nor did Obama think anything of it. A large part of Obama's free fall has to do with his naively making various comments that reflect his leftist values. Surely he is intelligent enough to know that the leftist must always lie about his true beliefs and intentions.

Darn, I wanted to get into the "minus O" of liberal fascism. Maybe tomorrow.

47 Comments:

Blogger QP said...

Over at National Review Online, various people recommend some remedial reading to President Obama. My pick to read? The one recommended by Martin Kramer: Pascal Bruckner’s ‘Tears of the White Man: Compassion As Contempt'

Also has anybody read books by David B. Hart?

8/14/2009 08:20:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I think I'd recommend the Federalist Papers, followed by Economics Does Not Lie.

8/14/2009 08:22:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Bob! Great left slamming post. I wish I could sign on wholeheartedly.

However,there are some aspects of your post that deserve criticism.

1. Regarding Obama's groveling trip; should not we see what results from it before calling it a bad move?

You are relentlessly critical of Obama but can't seem to tie your criticism into some kind of outcome be it financial or legislative or loss of property or life or quality of life; this is a sure sign there is something emotive going on here rather than factual.

Refer to the Aesop's fable about the fox and the grapes; The fox becomes disgusted by a frustrated desire to have grapes hanging out of reach, and responds by criticizing the grapes, which are perfectly fine.

So your party didn't win. Boo hoo. Get over it and get on with the job of being intelligent instead of emotional.

2. You wrote "This is why for the Raccoon, it generally comes down to a choice between the stupid party and the evil party."

Here again, you seem to lack any respect for the people of this country. All around you flourishes a prosperous and well-ordered society, governed by people from this populace, and you have only to say they are either stupid or evil.

No words of gratitude for those in public service do you write.

No words of gratitude that you have functioning police, fire, water, electricity, roads and schools furnished to you at a reasonable price.

No praise for the common person who may not be as sharp as raccoons but who in good faith gets up every morning and does his or her best.

No appreciation at how a populace so in need of the light, as you suggest, bravely manages to put out a modicum of love for each other on a dailiy basis.

I'm suggesting you have become cynical, and cynicism is one of the hallmarks of the Left and I suggest you stop wearing the colors of the Enemy.

I know you mean well but geez are you bitter or what?

8/14/2009 09:01:00 AM  
Anonymous maineman said...

Just a suggestion, Anon. If you want to try to make a point or two, no matter how misguided, don't lead with a bald-faced lie.

8/14/2009 09:06:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"Those programs allow babies, and so the rest of us, to find the truth"

Sounds like she'd been reading Dennett and Dawkins... or maybe just sorceray.

8/14/2009 09:20:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"It's not just their negative IQ that causes so many problems, but a kind of very real "negative mysticism."

In fact, I would suggest that the latter is far more problematic, as it is responsible for the truly mass movements of liberal fascism."

I was also thinking along similar lines the other day, following the 'man as beast' train of thought. I the higher path can always be poetically depicted in some image of Beauty and grace, the opposite is true as well, with ugliness and power. This went back a year or so to a conversation with my mid-teen about 'cool' posters of zombies engaged in ghastly destruction.

There is Light... and there is Darkness.

8/14/2009 09:37:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Anon:

(-?!)

8/14/2009 10:39:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

From a commenter @ Scipio:

Dr. Vaknin States “I must confess I was impressed by Sen. Barack Obama from the first time I saw him. At first I was excited to see a black candidate. He looked youthful, spoke well, appeared to be confident -- a wholesome presidential package.

"I was put off soon, not just because of his shallowness but also because there was an air of haughtiness in his demeanor that was unsettling. His posture and his body language were louder than his empty words. Obama’s speeches are unlike any political speech we have heard in American history. Never a politician in this land had such quasi “religious” impact on so many people. The fact that Obama is a total incognito with zero accomplishment, makes this inexplicable infatuation alarming. Obama is not an ordinary man. He is not a genius. In fact he is quite ignorant on most important subjects.”

8/14/2009 10:44:00 AM  
Anonymous Abdul said...

Wow, you sure made us all read through a lot of masturbatory blabbering before you provided any sort of evidence--scant and flimsy as it is--to actually back up the point you were apparently trying to make.

8/14/2009 10:52:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

That's not all I can make you do.

8/14/2009 10:55:00 AM  
Blogger jp said...

Van says:

""Those programs allow babies, and so the rest of us, to find the truth"

Sounds like she'd been reading Dennett and Dawkins... or maybe just sorceray."

This sounds kind of like Ray.

Baby's Brain = Computer Running Subroutines

8/14/2009 10:56:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Yes, what did Schuon call it? "Intelligence without wisdom."

8/14/2009 10:58:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"Intelligence without wisdom."

The most dreadful WMD of all.

8/14/2009 11:22:00 AM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

I have the feeling that unlike Bill Clinton, Obama hasn't the ability to appear to be an American. As the Mom and applepie wallpaper which David Axlerod wove during the campaign begins to peel at the edges, Obama being a true believer, with the apparant inability to learn from reality, may not be able to recover from a growing negative opinion forming with the public. I don't see him suffering the push back and humiliation without some sort of retaliation, it's just the nature of authoritarian socialists.

8/14/2009 11:35:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon. 9:01
How bout you take that weak, tired shit somewhere else? You make the rest of us look pathetic.

8/14/2009 11:38:00 AM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

Abdul-anon,

Don't blame Bob for your inability to see what's before your eyes.

8/14/2009 11:40:00 AM  
Anonymous Cousin Dupree said...

Abdullard.

8/14/2009 11:42:00 AM  
Anonymous Curly said...

The one thing we can say about Obama is that, if he can make it another 18 days, he will have kept us safe longer than George W. Bush.

Stop criticizing the commander in chief. We are at war and your criticisms only put our troops in greater harms way.

8/14/2009 12:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Moe said...

Would that that were true. US-based Marriott & Ritz Carlton Hotels in Jakarta, July 2009. Nyuck nyuck nyuck.

8/14/2009 12:40:00 PM  
Anonymous J.W. said...

Like Obama gives a rip about our troops. He's left them hanging out to dry as he pushes his socialist domestic agenda.
And if you don't believe me, just ask about 80% of current military members.

8/14/2009 12:43:00 PM  
Anonymous larry said...

Really? He gets blamed for stuff in Indonesia? In that case, the oft repeated mantra of the W. regime, after 9-11, that they were keeping "us" safe was nonsense.

Always remember, though, stop criticizing the commnander in chief. It endangers those who protect our freemdoms.

8/14/2009 12:49:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

JW--

Not to mention what he has done to morale in the CIA. Great policy: prosecute the people who keep us safe, but drop charges against Black Panthers who intimidate voters. Change!

8/14/2009 01:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Northern Bandit said...

" stop criticizing the commnander in chief. It endangers those who protect our freemdoms (sic)"

Right! Like the freedom to, oh, let's say, criticize our leaders! No, wait, that can't be right...

8/14/2009 01:11:00 PM  
Anonymous Orwell said...

We must support the president in his failure to support the troops, or it could help fail to threaten the troops he endangers!

8/14/2009 01:15:00 PM  
Anonymous goddinpotty said...

It is pretty funny for the party led by the likes of manifest idiots like Bush, Palin, and McCain, not to mention the cable blowhards like the innumerate O'Reilly, the clownish Beck, and the gross Limbaugh -- complaining about the intelligence of Obama. And what evidence is presented for Obama's supposed lack of brains? A couple of lame, made-up memes from the wingnut echo chamber. Oh, but right, you have redefined "intelligence" to mean something other than what everybody else means.

Oh well, if you want to paint yourself into an intellectual corner where you exchange private insights in a private language with your own slavish cultists, go right ahead. The rest of us have a world to deal with.

8/14/2009 01:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Petey said...

Thanks for your inquiry. If you change your mind, remember the Membership requirements (Bylaws, sec. 2):

- US citizen for the last six months
- have a public school diploma
- pay a $1.50 initiation fee

8/14/2009 01:39:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

gulpingpotty said "manifest idiots like Bush, Palin, and McCain"

It's a comforting truth about fools and liars, that despite the obfuscating haze of their words (or because of them), the truth about themselves is so clearly demonstrated by their own words.

8/14/2009 02:02:00 PM  
Blogger Susannah said...

(-K)

8/14/2009 02:50:00 PM  
Anonymous Northern Bandit said...

goddinpotty keeps coming back because he/she:

1. senses that raccoons are groping toward Truth in a deep way he/she hasn't encountered anywhere else;

2. dimly realizes that Bob -- and numerous others -- are completely correct in depicting leftism as a bankrupt and odious creed unfit for any decent human being;

3. is irresistibly intrigued by #1 while simultaneously being enraged by #2.

The only question is for me is whether people like goddinpotty are beyond hope. Most people would have said I was 15 years ago.

8/14/2009 03:38:00 PM  
Anonymous Alan said...

1. "And what evidence is presented for Obama's supposed lack of brains?"

How about trying to convince an audience that they should let government run health care by comparing it to the post office AND mentioning how the post office keeps messing up? He was trying to make another point but could not see the trap he set for himself as he set it. You confuse beautiful grammar with beautiful semantics when evaluating intelligence - hence the wringing of hands in the Democrat party worrying that they might not be using the right words to make a winning message.

2. The Federalist Papers compendium is one of those things that makes me reluctantly admit that the traditionalist view that we are in a declining age of humanity could be true - very few could write like that today and even fewer would read it.

3. back to Godinpotty - you conflate a political party and the conservative movement of which it is only a flawed incarnation.... but there is no difference between party and ideals on the left so I understand the confusion.

8/14/2009 05:35:00 PM  
Anonymous goddinpotty said...

@Northern Bandit:

1. I sense that you are groping towards Truth by standing on a putrid, collapsing mound of lies. Don't think that's going to work, and I'm doing my best to hasten the collapse.

2. Bob's demented and ignorant rants about "leftism" are amusing rather than enraging. Today's example is a good one -- it could not possibly convince anyone who was not already in the tank, so not at all dangerous. Still, it is hard not to answer libel.

"leftism [is] a bankrupt and odious creed unfit for any decent human being"...well, since you define leftism so expansively as to include practically everyone (I believe your resident pinhead Van was recently arguing that Henry Ford and John McCain were leftists), then the world is quite full of indecent human beings.

3. I am fascinated by how your wretched politics relates to the less-obviously wretched take on science, psychology, metaphysics, and spirituality. In other words, you give God a bad name, but I imagine he'll survive.

8/14/2009 08:32:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

pottyfood said "I believe your resident pinhead Van was recently arguing that Henry Ford and John McCain were leftists"

I know these are big words, but do try to follow along.

'Progressive' is one word, 'leftist' is another. See how that works? hmm... ok... I'll break it down further,

'pro-gres-sive' see? three syllables, 'left-ist' two syllables... see that? Two different words, two different meanings - that doesn't mean they don't have some things in common, but even so, they are not the same.

Ok, good... now stay with me here... Progressivism was a political philosophy which claimed adherents in most of the political parties of the later 1800's and into it's height in the early 1900's. Teddy Roosevelt (republican) and Woodrow Wilson (democrat) were both popular, though rival, progressives. Do a little reading not too much don't strain the brain... baby steps. The truth is out there. Courage.

Ok, now here's what's going to be the tough part for you, because it involves not just nouns, but concepts too.

'Progressive' is the higher conceptual term, the larger set, which contains people who are on the left, and on the right. It's primary visible distinctive feature, is a near mania for rule by experts. Nothing gets a progressives blood going like setting up panels of experts with the authority to 'reform' and 'guide' the lesser people in need of their expertise.

While those with economic philosophies that tend towards socialistic views, leftists, make up the majority of progressives today, there are also those who nominally support 'free market' policies (overseen by experts of course, who will keep people in line), also make up sizable numbers within progressive circles. The key non-visible aspect of proregressivism is it's adherence to pragmatism, the belief that principles may be fine in theory, but action, doing 'what works' is far more important, and shouldn't be restrained by airy theories.

So people like McCain will have many fine things to say about free speech, and free markets, but "Gosh darn it! There's too much free speakin' going on! People are giving TOO MUCH money to people that experts like me don't agree are 'sound'!", and so you get little 'r' republicans for campaign finance reform, etc.

Ok, that's enough for tonight. Rest. Read some in the morning. You'll get it eventually... just remember... maybe write them down so you can see the difference, 'progressive', 'leftist', two different words... related... but different.

Phew!

8/14/2009 09:25:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like chocolate milk.

8/14/2009 10:27:00 PM  
Anonymous goddinpotty said...

Van -- it's cute to see you try to weasel out of something you said just days ago. Unfortunately for you, the Internet leaves a permanent record. The exchange was this:

Bob: "read Goldberg's Liberal Fascism for the sordid history of the left's efforts to eliminate the "less than human." There is no question that Hitler was inspired by the American progressive movement in that regard.

Van: "Not only inspired, he actually wrote what can almost be termed a 'fan letter' to American progressives... "

Van: "Here we go: Hitler may have first come upon the anti-semitic "Protocols of the Elders of Zion" thanks to an extended newspaper serialization financed by American Proregressive, Henry Ford, ""I regard Henry Ford as my inspiration,"...

So back in the ancient time of this past Tuesday you and Bob were perfectly happy to conflate Hitler and the left and progressives and Henry Ford, but now that I've called you on your bullshit the fine distinctions are so very important.

8/14/2009 11:14:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Wow potty, you don't just play one online... you really are a moron!

"Van: "Not only inspired, he actually wrote what can almost be termed a 'fan letter' to American progressives... ""

Which means that Hitler was inspired by ... wait for it...

(ready?)

PROGRESSIVES!

Hitler - was a fascist.
He was inspired by... Progressives... learned a lot from them... but was a fascist....

Oh forget it, I'm sorry potty, all this time I thought you were just trying to annoy us, but you really are unable to read.

Good luck.

8/15/2009 12:24:00 AM  
Anonymous Andre the Giant said...

20 years from now, "conservatives" will be hailing Obama as their man, like they do Martin Luther King, Jr., and, perhaps even more amazingly, Hilary Clinton.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/825242/posts#comment

8/15/2009 07:08:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Andre,
I'm not quite sure about their links, but this reply by Marron has a better grasp of the issues than the post does, especially around the constitutional issues and confused terminology of 'right', 'conservative', etc.

And regarding King himself,

"As for Martin Luther King, to prove that he was a flawed man is to prove nothing. Jim Crow was immoral. To fight it was dangerous and lonely, and I have nothing but respect for anyone who got out of their easy chairs and into the fight. We all believe that, if it came right down to it, we would be willing to put our lives on the line for freedom. But it did come down to it, and it was a flawed preacher, and his flawed followers, who stood up. For all of his flaws, he is the bigger man than his detractors, who were content to see oppression continue into yet another generation. "

Yep.

8/15/2009 08:36:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Andre said "20 years from now, "conservatives" will be hailing Obama as their man"

'r'epublicans probably will.

The Classical Liberal wing of the Conservatives, will not.

8/15/2009 08:37:00 AM  
Anonymous goddinpotty said...

I guess I must be as stupid as Van claims, because I do not understand why he eagerly introduces Henry Ford into a conversation supporting this statement: "read Goldberg's Liberal Fascism for the sordid history of the left's efforts to eliminate the less than human. There is no question that Hitler was inspired by the American progressive movement in that regard.". Goldberg claims Hitler was a "man of the left", Bob claims that the left has a "sordid history" of "eliminating the less than human", and implies by his language that the "American progressive movement" is part of "the left", you jump in to contribute the ties between the supposed progressive Ford and the supposed leftist Hitler. You'll have to forgive me if I am confused by the subtlety of your thought, but it sure sounds like an effort to tie all these individuals and groups together and smear them all together.

Perhaps I am wrong to conflate the opinions of Van, Bob, and Goldberg. Van seems to be loudly screaming that Ford, at least, is NOT part of the left, just a "progressive" (which is a superset rather than a subset of the left). So, that's good, there's at least one evil person the left doesn't have to take responsibility for. What about Hitler? You seem to say above that he's not a progressive, so do you repudiate Goldberg and Bob's thesis that he is a member of the left as well? If he's a leftist, what makes him one and Ford not one?

8/15/2009 09:05:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Like I always say, "there are two kinds of idiots in this world: born idiots and educated idiots."

Funny thing is I'm an electronic engineer and a wanta be physicist, yet I feel ignorant of the world around me. But, these educated idiots act as if they know everything and yet remain unaware of there ignorance.

For me, I use ignorance as a guide to learn new things.

8/15/2009 09:05:00 AM  
Anonymous Hulk Hogan said...

Van,
As long as folks around here continue to defend Republicans, conflating them with conservatives, as was done here for years, then I intend to point out its lunacy and flaws.

Your argument about King, though quite true, could be as aptly used to defend FDR, and his willingness to fight Germany and Japan. Nonetheless, he is universally maligned by so-called (I use that phrase because, truly, there are so few in the country) "conservatives". The truth is, fundamentally, King was courageous, but also fundamentally, a leftist. Turns out, leftists can sometimes be courageous and quite right.
And I loathe leftism.

8/15/2009 10:56:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"But if one of my students suggested that human beings are programmed by natural selection "to find the truth," I'd probably slap him upside the head with my zen stick. Good thing I don't have any students. Or a zen stick."

At that point you might wanna borrow Cousin Dupree's pliars n' blowtorch.

8/15/2009 01:16:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Every day he unleashes some kind of crazy remark that you just know he must have picked up in college. But since he's only ever associated with those types of scoundrels, he has no idea how offensive he is to normal people."

I believe that may be why he chose not to make his college transcripts available for the public to see. Probably on the advice of Rahmmy, or one of his other 6,000 advisors.

Not so much because of the grades, but the content, which shows what Obama has been trying to unsuccessfully hide.
Of course, no dyed in the state wool leftist can long hide who they are.

It's even tougher when Zero cannot stop himself from yakkin' every chance he gets. He craves the attention too much.
I am kinda surprised that his plants haven't been better vetted, but I reckon even the MSM can't cover for him 24/7.

8/15/2009 01:34:00 PM  
Anonymous goddinpotty said...

You have to wonder what is the point of trying to link Nazism to the left. Afte all, there are a great many atrocites and crimes that are more plausibly attributed to the left, such as those of Stalinist Russia or Maoist China. You can argue about how much these crimes tar the left as a whole, or the left of today, or even that Stalin and suchlike were not a leftist at all (after all, Lenin wrote a book vigorously denouncing the left-wing of his own movement). But if your goal was to attack the left, that would be a MUCH more plausible place to start.

So I hypothesize that all this Hitler crap is not so much about the left, but is an attempt by rightists to evade the moral duty of acknowledging their own complicity in the horrors of the 20th century. They are constructing a childish, black-and-white model of history where all evil can be linked to the left and they can regard themselves to be as pure as the driven snow. But they aren't fooling anybody but themselves.

8/15/2009 01:53:00 PM  
Blogger WWWebb said...

-?!

makes me think of the quip supposedly made by Orwell about some ideas being so ridiculous that only an intellectual could believe them...

8/15/2009 10:55:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

gulpingpotty said "I guess I must be as stupid as Van claims"

Very likely true.

"You'll have to forgive me if I am confused by the subtlety of your thought"

I forgive you.

"Van seems to be loudly screaming that Ford, at least, is NOT part of the left, just a "progressive"...What about Hitler? You seem to say above that he's not a progressive, so do you repudiate Goldberg and Bob's thesis that he is a member of the left as well? If he's a leftist, what makes him one and Ford not one?"

Crud. No doubt I'll regret this, but I'm a sucker for the seemingly honest question.

"so do you repudiate Goldberg and Bob's thesis that he is a member of the left as well?"

First off, it's obvious you haven't read Goldberg's book, or you wouldn't be asking these questions - you might want to stop presuming you know what it said and means in order to argue against your own straw self, and just break down and read an opposing view to see what sense you think it does or doesn't make based on what it says – not what you guess it says.

Next, though they often share the same labels(left, right), there is a distinction you have to actively make when discussing philosophies, political philosophies and political parties, and keep the context of the conversation carefully in mind.

Next, or existing vocabulary for discussing political philosophy, and for making distinctions between them… sucks. There is always inaccuracy and spillover, but you have to go to speak with the words you’ve got.

For instance, to take the other side of the situation, using the term 'Conservative' as if you are referring to the right or to republicans alone, is always deeply flawed - there are plenty of 'conservative' democrats ('bluedog', etc), independents, etc - unless you are speaking to a known audience, you've got to constantly clarify what you are talking about (and yes, raccoons are a known audience, and there's several years of posts to clarify it to those who aren't - assuming they're interested in actually learning, rather than just opposing).

You also can't assume that 'conservative' has a philosophic or economic understanding, people very often think of themselves as 'conservative' when what they mean is traditionalist - they're not so concerned about the right or wrong of matters, but that something has always been done, or they suppose it was done in some idyllic memory of theirs, and so should be carried on the same today - and they too can be found on both the left and the right.

8/16/2009 11:51:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

While the term Classical Liberalism was never monolithic, there was always a general understanding that it was concerned with Rights, as derived from the nature of Man - whether from God or biology was often unclear (or fudged for cover against popular opinion), but it was understood that they referred to characteristics inherent IN Man, and in the Individual, and that those rights required people to make choices in order to develop certain behaviors and characteristics in themselves as individuals, and which also served to define what could and couldn't be done to them, without violating their rights and choices.

Beginning with Descartes, and becoming more pronounced with Rousseau, Hume and Kant, the philosophic notion gained currency that perhaps 'rights' didn't derive from within Man, but instead came from the environment and circumstances without Man. This is the root split that defines whether in the broadest terms, a person is of
- the Right - which believes rights are derived from the nature of man and depend upon choices made of his own free will – the heart and center of his life
, or from
- the Left, which believes that the persons circumstances and environment is what molds his 'character', and determines his lot in life, free will being an illusion

The Right believes that a person must be left free to form their own life and circumstances and that a better society is built from people living their own lives and that their right to the property they spend their time and effort in creating is inviolate.

The Left believes that society must alter peoples circumstances, forcibly if necessary, in order to reform the people into a 'better' society and society has a first claim on as much of the property available within society that it may require in order to do so.

The philosophies which believe that it is up to society to create the opportune circumstances so that people can be reformed and improved, is the root of the trunk which includes communism, socialism, marxism, progressivism, fascism, etc. They all developed from the same source, but have their own unique slants upon it, such as Preregressives believe in panels of experts who dictate laws and regulations as needed to reform society, while Fascists believe in One Leader who will remake society and the people as he directs.

Ok, enough.

8/16/2009 11:51:00 AM  

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